• Alumni Groups should maintain tax-exempt status as a 501(c)4 organization, which ensures your group doesn’t have to pay Federal income tax on revenue.
• Treasurer or President must fill out an annual 990 e-postcard from the IRS within five months of the end of the group’s tax year. To file a 990 postcard with the IRS please visit: http://go.osu.edu/990filing
• Groups that fail to complete their annual filing requirement for three consecutive years are subject to losing their tax-exempt status and are subject to penalties and reinstatement fees.
• To check your current tax-exempt status and/or federal income tax filing history visit the IRS website at https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/. Once at this site you will need the group EIN number.
• If your tax status has been revoked, information re: the reinstatement process can be found on the IRS website here – https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/automatic-revocation-how-to-have-your-tax-exempt-status-reinstated and mainly involves resubmitting a Form 1024-A online and paying the user fee.
• Before beginning to operate, groups must complete the following steps:
1. Apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN number is necessary to open a local checking account and is used when filing annual taxes with the IRS and can be done here: http://go.osu.edu/ein.
2. Complete Form 8976, which is a “Notice of Intent to Operate”, fee is $50 and this must be filed within 60 days of formation. For the purpose of this discussion, “Date of Formation” shall be the date the group applies for the EIN. This form can only be filed electronically.
3. Complete Form 8718, which grants the alumni group the exemption status. Currently the fee is $600. This allows the group to be exempt from Federal Income Tax.
4. Submit Form 1024-A with Form 8718 (document in step No. 3) to finalize the IRS application process for income tax exemption under IRS code 501(c)4. Both forms must be submitted together. Once submitted and subsequently accepted by the IRS, the IRS will respond with confirmation of the groups’ exempt status.
• Adhere to the “Existing Group” steps above.
Note that exemption from sales tax is a state and local tax issue. Many states/cities do allow exempt organizations to be exempt from sales tax, but that is at the discretion of local law and the specific vendor(s) that you are working with at the time.